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Key Research Fields

Key Research Fields

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As a central part of Leibniz University Hannover's research strategy, the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science pursues research in the following key fields: Biomedical Engineering, Digital Society, Energy and the new field of Robotics and Intelligent Systems. These research fields are interdisciplinary and not only relevant to engineering and the natural sciences, but also to the social sciences and humanities.

As a central part of Leibniz University Hannover's research strategy, the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science pursues research in the following key fields: Biomedical Engineering, Digital Society, Energy and the new field of Robotics and Intelligent Systems. These research fields are interdisciplinary and not only relevant to engineering and the natural sciences, but also to the social sciences and humanities.

BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING

The importance of Biomedical Engineering is growing against the backdrop of an aging society and the desire to ensure a high quality of life and mobility for every individual, even in old age. Key projects focus on medical implants, telemedical assistance systems and technologically assisted rehabilitation techniques.

Close co-operation with companies providing support technologies in hearing, rehabilitation and orthopaedics – together with joint research centres shared with the Hannover Medical School (MHH) and the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation (TiHo) – are making Hannover a prime location for innovation in Biomedical Engineering. Research centres in the field include the Centre of Biomolecular Drug Research (BMWZ), the Lower Saxony Centre for Biomedical Engineering, Implant Research and Development (NIFE), and, with an especially strong link to the faculty, the associated centre eNIFE, which was founded in 2014 and focuses on electronics in Biomedical Engineering. In addition, the cluster of excellence Hearing4all links medicine and engineering with the goal of understanding and improving human hearing in diverse situations.

DIGITAL SOCIETY

The potential of the internet, digital mobile communication, data science and artificial intelligence are leading to a profound change in society, influencing human behaviour and decision making in many different contexts, from social interaction to politics. To shape this change in a positive way, research must adopt a structure and methodology which is both international and interdisciplinary. This will allow clear recommendations for action and strategies for innovation to be derived from the findings, and ensure that these prove useful in a wide range of situations in business, politics and society.

Against this background, links to the other key fields of research – Biomedical Technology and Energy – have been established, such as in the areas of e-health and smart grid technologies. At Leibniz University Hannover, the Leibniz Research Center L3S has been working successfully on interdisciplinary questions concerning the digital transformation for many years.

The focus is placed on topics such as the web and big data, the internet and distributed systems, and privacy and security, often working in close co-operation with industrial partners. Other projects exist in the area of semi-autonomous, networked vehicles, with questions ranging from video evaluation for driver assistance to Car-2-X communication, e.g., within the master plan "Mobilise", which is a partnership between Leibniz University Hannover and Technical University of Braunschweig.

ENERGY

Supplying our society with Energy must be examined anew due to dwindling reserves of raw materials and the climate-damaging effect of carbon dioxide gas, which is one of the main products of combustion. Germany's decision to phase out nuclear energy demands the use of regenerative energies such as wind energy, solar energy and biomass.

Since these energy sources are distributed over a large area and predominantly converted into electricity, the growing use of renewable energies is accompanied by a decentralisation of energy supply systems. In information technology, a central question is how these decentralised systems can be designed to be flexible and stable at the same time. There is also the question of developing effective energy storage systems, as renewable energy sources like wind and sunlight show more fluctuation than fossil fuels.

The Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science proved its outstanding research quality in the field of Energy in the 2011 Research Ratings of the German Science Council, where it was one of only two universities – together with RWTH Aachen University – to be rated "very good". The faculty also has extensive co-operative relationships furthered by the Leibniz Energy Research Centre 2050 (LiFE 2050). Examples include the co-operation with the Institute for Solar Energy Research Hameln (ISFH), the co-operative networks established with the universities of Bremen and Oldenburg in ForWind, and also the co-operation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy Systems.

ROBOTICS AND INTELLIGENT SYSTEMS

As a new research field, Robotics and Intelligent Systems has grown steadily in the last few years and joins the three other established research fields of the faculty. The aim is to research intelligent, networked artificial systems which act and react in the physical world, interacting with both humans and the environment. Intelligent systems are characterised by learning processes which enable the acquisition of new skills and can handle a large amount of data which is heterogeneous, uncertain and probabilistic. Due to the complexity of the situations which occur in the real world, intelligent systems in mobility, Industry 4.0, medicine and education require the automatic abstraction of information from data, the creation of representative models and the semantic processing of existing information.

In robotics, the connection to the physical world needs to be strengthened. In addition to machine learning, further research areas are necessary to pursue this goal: modern processes in control theory, design of the machine (classical robotics, mechatronics and control), sensor technologies (image processing and 3D technologies), networking of autonomous systems (communication technologies) and an intuitive, intelligent human-machine interface. At the faculty, current fields of application include biomedical engineering, systems medicine and the development of micro- and nanoscale integrated systems.

In addition to the multidisciplinary research agenda, our aim is to provide attractive training for young scientists and – through projects such as the "Roboterfabrik" – for school pupils too. Based on theoretical and experimental research, complex systems are developed for application in both the industrial domain and service sector.

 

 

Information about outstanding research projects at the faculty